This tale of a moose on the loose had the best possible ending.
On Wednesday, people living near Willard Beach in South Portland, Maine, were treated to a series of moose encounters after one of the animals wandered into their neighborhood.
He seemed to find his way everywhere: munching on leaves and branches in backyards; the beach, where he went for a walk, and eventually to the campus of Southern Maine Community College.
“It’s really quite the sight,” said Henry Cleaves, who lives in South Portland and remembered seeing more of the animals on trips to the woods as a kid in the area.
“We used to go look for moose up around twilight and shine some bright flashlight or floodlights, but it’s been about 10-15 years,” he said.
Kay Mallory, who also lives in South Portland, said, "I’ve seen them in Cape Woods and we have a camp in Bridgton, they’re up there. But never down here in the neighborhood like this."
“He’s a pretty big one,” she added.
The moose was first sighted Tuesday on South Portland's public works facility, according to The Portland Press Herald. One police officer told the newspaper that he'd been told by biologists the moose was likely looking for a mate.
Throughout the day on Wednesday, South Portland police had urged residents to stay away from the moose for the safety of people and the animal.
By Wednesday, evening, Maine Game Wardens arrived, located him, tranquilized the moose and moved it to a location some distance away from the city.
The police department mentioned the moose capture in a Facebook post that read:
A safe, successful conclusion.
With the assistance of wardens and biologists from Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, the moose was safely tranquilized and transported from a wooded area off Surfsite Road.
We want to thank Maine IF&W, our local partners from South Portland Public Works and South Portland Parks and Recreation who provided assistance with monitoring and crowd control.
We also want to thank all of you, for your concern, reporting your sightings, slowing down, and giving the moose space to rest and recover. This was a difficult task, as there was, naturally, so much public interest.
There were several possible outcomes to this incident, and fortunately, the best one became reality. Thank you.